Let Nature Challenge You
The Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens is a 120-acre urban woodland full of trails for you to explore and enjoy.
From the trailhead next to the parking lot, a stabilized walkway encircles a beautiful two-acre lake. This trail gently descends about 25 feet from to the foot of the lake and then returns up a gentle slope on the opposite side to the trailhead. Interpretive signs and over 100 labeled plants enhance the loop.
In addition, over three miles of rustic hiking trails wind quietly through a series of distinct ecological habitats. Along the trails, benches invite you either to pause and enjoy the view or to get in a good stretch during a vigorous walk.
The Arboretum is developed and managed by the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens, Inc., a non-profit entity that leases the land from the City. Except for special events, there is no admission fee. $3 non-member visitor donation requested to help pay operations.
Open to the public 7 days a week from 8 AM to 5 PM.
NOTE : Starting March 14, extended hours on Tuesday and Thursday from 8 AM – 7 PM
Entry gates are locked promptly at closing so plan your visit so that you exit the Arboretum prior to closing.
ADA – For accommodation please contact email@example.com
News – May 2017
When I hear the word indigo, I think first of Roy G. Biv. This is a memory device for the colors of the rainbow that I learned so many years ago in elementary school. The “i” in Biv stands for indigo, a color between blue and violet. Indigo is also the name of a blue dye that is obtained from plants in the genus Indigofera. Archaeological records indicate that early use of indigo dates back thousands of years and started in South America, the Middle East and in Asia. The use of indigo dye became widespread in Europe when the New World colonies began producing the dye. Today, indigo may be best known as the dye for blue jeans. Now, however, indigo is no longer a plant product but a synthetic dye.
One species, Indigofera caroliniana, is native to Florida and much of the southeastern United States. It produces indigo dye but it is not a vigorous plant and seems difficult to cultivate. Two other species were imported to expand production of the dye, Indigofera suffructosa from Central and South America and Indigofera tinctoria from Asia. Indigofera suffructosa escaped cultivation and can still be found in natural areas of northeast Florida.
Neither of the indigo dye plants are cultivated widely in gardens today. The flowers are not very showy and the plants tend to be tall and leggy. However, a few other species of Indigofera are cultivated as ornamental plants. Chinese indigo, Indigofera decora, is an attractive shrub that grows to about three feet tall. Pendant spikes of pink flowers are produced through the summer. This species is not used to produce dye but, reportedly, the seeds of this plant are edible. A ten year old plant in a private garden was the source of the Arboretum’s plant. It has never produced seeds. Chinese indigo spreads by suckers to form a colony. It should be planted where that spread can be controlled.
A small clump of Chinese indigo can be seen on the north side of the lake loop path. They should be easy to find when they flower – usually starting in April and continuing through the summer.
Discovering Nature Nearby
Programs for 2017
Held April 15
The April Discovering Nature Nearby program was a huge success with over 75 people in attendance. With over half of the participants being children, we are sure to have some budding naturalists in the Jacksonville area. Joan Kramer, University of Florida Master Beekeeper and Master Naturalist told the audience about honeybees, native bees and butterflies. She talked about their life cycles and habitat needs. 50 butterflies including Painted Ladies, Zebra Longwings and Julias were presented to each child in an envelope to release. Photos of the butterflies on the children’s palms or hands are because they were “waking up” before they flew away. Joan provided many posters, insect collections and handouts and had a honey tasting that was enthusiastically received. After the program, many children and some adults made nature journals to record their sightings or experience at the gardens. It was a beautiful day for a butterfly release.
National Public Garden’s Day
Skip the bouquet! Give mom the gift that blooms all year. Arboretum memberships are 10% off at the Friend and Family level on Saturday May 13, 9AM-12PM at the Arboretum.
Download your own 2017 National Garden Day flyer(.pdf)
Show the World You Love the Arboretum
Directions/Map, Facilities, Hours of Operation
Rules about your visit are on this page including information about dogs and Photo policy (.pdf)
Photos collections covering the arboretum, our events, some of the plants and much more
Envision your wedding or special event in the beautiful natural settings of the Jacksonville Arboretum – a lush, forested oasis in the midst of the city.
Coverage of our events, awards and other news
E-newsletter sign up and archive
Who Our Supporters Are
Links to Websites
Links to Places to Visit